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Taoiseach Micheál Martin doesn’t expect to meet Joe Biden during US trip

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he doesn’t expect to meet US President Joe Biden during his two day trip to the US.

Mr Martin was supposed to meet Mr Biden at a reception on Wednesday night at the American Museum of Natural History.

The Taoiseach and his delegation missed the reception after the Aer Lingus flight he was on from Dublin had to turn around due to a bird strike, and he subsequently caught a later one.

While no formal bilateral meeting was scheduled, Mr Martin and Mr Biden expected to meet on Wednesday night.

The US President is in New York all day on Thursday for a series of engagements as part of the United Nations General Assembly.

“There was never going to be a formal meeting this week but last night there was a reception that was hosted by President Biden,” said Mr Martin.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t make that but I did meet him in London at the funeral [of Queen Elizabeth] and we meet at a number of international gatherings. Today’s hectic, we’ll see how things transpire.”

Mr Martin said he doesn’t “anticipate” meeting him today because there is a “hectic schedule of meetings all round”.

Meanwhile, he paid tribute to the captain and the crew on board last night’s flight, saying “these things happen”. “It’s no big deal,” he said.

The Government jet, Learjet, is often used for flights between Dublin and Brussels and other European journeys.

Mr Martin downplayed the possibility of the State buying a bigger plane for international journeys, saying the Government jet is “very efficient and effective” to get to meetings but it has had its “challenges”.

“That jet has had its challenges as well, put it that way,” he said.

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“That’s something that the Department of Defence and Air Corps are reviewing but generally, trans-Atlantic we’ve never used the government jet.

Mr Martin said the “cost element” is one of the main reasons the State does not have a bigger plane for its officials.

“There’s a cost element to it, always has been the case and trying to get the best value out of the existing jet that we have.”


 


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